Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
Chapter 1 sets before us the royalty of Judah, formerly established by God over His people in the person of David, falling under the power of Nebuchadnezzar; and the king, Jehovah's anointed, given up by Jehovah into the hands of the head of the Gentiles, on whom God now bestowed dominion. That which was announced by Isaiah (Dan 39:7) falls upon the children of the royal seed; but God watches over them and brings them into favour with those that kept them. This was especially the case with respect to Daniel; The two characteristics of the faithful remnant in captivity are prominently marked in this chapter:-firstly, faithful to the will of God, although at a distance from His temple, they do not defile themselves among the Gentiles; secondly, their prayer being granted, understanding is given them, as we see in chapter 2 in Daniel's case, even the knowledge of that which God alone can reveal, as well as His purpose in that revelation. They alone possess this understanding, a token of divine favour and the fruit of their faithfulness through grace. This is the case with Daniel in particular, whose faith and earnest fidelity marks out the path of faith for his companions. This did not interfere with their subjection to the Gentiles, whose power was the ordinance of God for the time being. But this is a most important element: the place of true knowledge, of intelligence of the divine mind, what is called the secret of the Lord, in the days of Babylonish corruption and power, is the thorough keeping oneself undefiled by the smallest contact with what it gives, with the meat with which it would feed us.